I just want to see if my plan will work. I need to keep $$$ in my bank account, otherwise I have the money to pay them all close to 0.
5 cards total (AU on one, but it is my wife's so I can control when it is paid).
We put all of our monthly expenses on a Chase Freedom card for rewards. I totally screwed up last month while we were traveling and I didn't pay it down to zero before the statement date, so the util on that card shot up to 92% from 0. My score took a 20+point drop!
Current util as reported on my CR is 74% (would have been below 50% but for my screw up).. I have one store card with a zero balance, and the rest are at different levels.
I can afford to pay them ALL down to zero within a month or so, but I need to apply for a mortgage ASAP. I need a mid-score above 660 (currently 643 down from 665 when the 92% util reported).
I want to jack up my score as much as possible before the 10th of next month when I'm going to apply. At that point, the 92% util card will report a 0 balance. I'm thinking of shifting around some $$ to different cards, waiting for the statement to cut, then paying off some others. My dates are staggered enough that I can get 2 other cards to report 0 by paying the second one off with the first one after the statement cuts. It will drop my util below 20% but allow me to keep some $$ in my checking account to keep my average daily balance high for the mortgage lender.
Will this work? Do the amounts on the CR update at the time the lender pulls, or only the statement date? If I do it, I presumably have until the next statement to actually get the cash in there to pay off, right?
Also, since my util is so high, how much is this dragging on my score? I know when that 92% reported, my util went from about 55% to 74%. If I bring it down below 20% what kind of increase am I looking at? Nothing derogatory on my CR for the last 2.5 years, and no inquiries since I bought a car on 4/1.
Finally, since my score dropped so much as a result of that high util, will it go back up if I get it to that level again? Or does it take time to recover?
FICO has no memory of utilization. As soon as your CR reflects the lower balances, your score will go back up. It is a snapshot of what is happening on the day you get your score.
The balances are updated on the dates the CCC reports to the CRAs.
That 74% is killing your score. If at all possible, and for optimal FICO scoring, do not let all report a 0 balance. FICO does not like that. Have all but one report a 0 balance and the other at 9% or below.